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Film important for today

Posted by | Ed Langlois, Communications Director

Carmel Communications allowed Catholic Charities of Oregon to preview a new film on Mother Cabrini, the Italian nun who founded hundreds of institutions for immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She had a special focus on the United States.

‘Cabrini’ tells a fascinating story we desperately need to hear today, a tale of one woman’s jaw-dropping determination to treat migrants with human dignity. The film is told with both grit and beauty; like an opera, even the scenes of great poverty and despair emerge in a glory of light and darkness that gives them universal meaning – to people of any belief.

Any film’s worth comes from the way it shows characters, and Cabrini succeeds at this, from the steel-spined woman of the title, an absolute force of nature, to an Italian orphan who repeatedly suffers loss, to a prostitute whose life is forever changed by a chance encounter with the powerful little nun.

Mother Cabrini

We who work in social services owe Mother Cabrini a debt of gratitude for creating the standard of care. To establish it, she stood up against ecclesial and civic powers with tremendous courage. She weathered cruel and violent bigotry, only to become the first saint of the United States. Though she once dismissed as a dirty and troublesome immigrant, her image now stands in a window high above the seats at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland – and in many other churches.

In a different era, Mother Cabrini showed that women need not “stay in their lane” but in fact help society by moving boldly on their God-given missions. This new film tells that story in a compelling and artful way.

We hope our nation’s political leaders and candidates watch it.



Cabrini movie poster